Mercedes-Benz said today it has “reassigned” its advertising that has been running on Fox News Channel’s high-rated “The O’Reilly Factor,” hosted by the network’s Bill O’Reilly, CNN reports. The move follows reports that five settlements have been made with women accusing O’Reilly of sexual harassment.
CNN quotes a statement today from Donna Boland, manager of corporate communications for Mercedes-Benz, saying: “Yes, we had advertising running on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ (we run on most major cable news shows) and it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy. The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
CNN adds: “It’s not clear yet whether other companies will follow Mercedes-Benz’s lead. CNNMoney reached out to more than 20 companies and brands that have advertised on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ to ask for a response to a report published by The New York Times over the weekend. The Times reported that settlements totaling $13 million had been reached with five women who accused O’Reilly of inappropriate behavior.”
Lexus responded with a statement saying: “The Lexus ads appearing on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ are part of a wide ranging media package, with ads appearing on a variety of cable television programs. We take our duties as a responsible advertiser seriously, and seek to partner with organizations who share our company culture and philosophy of respect for all people. We will continue to monitor the situation and will take any appropriate action through our media buying partners.”
The report notes that a spokesperson for Jenny Craig said that the organization “condemns any and all forms of sexual harassment,” but declined to comment further.